Friday, June 22, 2018

The Metal Eater of Luminous Smoke, by Minsoo Kang

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[Strange Horizons]
★★★☆☆ Honorable Mention

(Chinese Epic Fantasy) In which we learn how Master Luminous Smoke began his career as a legendary scholar of the mystical arts and learned a bit of humility in the process. (6,149 words; Time: 20m)

"," by (edited by Jane Crowley and Kate Dollarhyde), appeared in issue 06/18/18, published on .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Pro: I loved the intro, where Luminous Smoke takes the needles from the charlatan and then uses them to prove his own worth to his brother. His careless creation of the monster is suitably portentous. And I loved the way his brothers eventually reached the conclusion that they had to call for his help.

Readers of Frankenstein, by Mary Shelly, will be entertained by the copious references to the book.

Con: The ending falls flat. It feels like there's a setup for something interesting to happen after the monster is dead, but nothing does.

A different problem is that if Luminous Smoke was never seen again, why is he famous? Surely not just for destroying a single monster that he created himself!

Finally, the Frankenstein references are a little too cute, particularly since the story appears to take place before that book was written.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 06/18/18)
Minsoo Kang Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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